Quaternary Structure Constraints on Evolutionary Sequence Divergence

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Abstract

The structurally constrained protein evolution (SCPE) model simulates protein divergence considering protein structure explicitly. The model is based on the observation that protein structure is more conserved during evolution than the sequences encoding for that structure. In the previous work, the SCPE model considered only the tertiary structure. Here we show that the performance of the model is enhanced when the oligomeric structure is taken into account. Our results agree with recent evolutionary studies of oligomeric proteins, which show that conservation of the quaternary structure imposes additional constraints on sequence divergence. The incorporation of protein–protein interactions into protein evolution models may be important in the study of quaternary protein structures and complex protein assemblies.

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